CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-158

Title: An Aggregate Social Accounting Matrix for the Australian Economy: Data Sources and Methods

Authors: Felicity Pang, G.A. Meagher and G.C. Lim


A social accounting matrix is a framework for organising information about income, expenditure and financial flows in the economy. This paper describes a methodology for compiling such a matrix for the Australian economy as it existed in 1996-97. It distinguishes between five institutions, namely, households, non-financial corporations, financial corporations, the general government and the external sector, and identifies linkages between them. The matrix is so constructed that
i) for every row there is a corresponding column;
ii) the totals of corresponding rows and columns are equal;
iii) every entry is a receipt when read in its row context and a payment when read in its column context.
However, it does not distinguish between different industries or commodities and, to that extent, is properly regarded as an aggregate matrix. It forms part of the database for ORANI-ID, an applied general equilibrium model of the Australian economy designed for analysing the effect of changes in the economic environment on the distribution of income.

JEL classification: D30, D50, E10

Keywords: Social Accounting Matrix, Applied General Equilibrium, Income Distribution.

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